District of Columbia
Select a City, Town, Village or Township in New York:
Adams; Adams Center; Addison; Afton; Akron; Albany; Albion; Alden; Amagansett; Amber; Amenia; Ames; Amity; Amsterdam; Annsville; Arcade; Argyle; Astoria; Athens; Attica; Auburn; Augusta; Aurora; Austerlitz; Avon; Bainbridge; Baldwinsville; Ballston Spa; Batavia; Bath; Beaver Falls; Bedford; Bedford-Stuyvesant; Beekman; Bellona; Belvidere; Bennington; Benton; Bergen; Berkshire; Berne; Bethlehem Center; Binghamton; Black Lake; Black Rock; Blooming Grove; Bloomingdale; Blue Mountain Lake; Bovina; Bridgewater; Brockport; Bronx; Bronxville; Brookfield; Brookhaven; Brooklyn; Brownsville; Brownville; Buffalo; Burlington; Burlington Flats; Bushwick; Busti; Butternuts; Cairo; Caledonia; Cambridge; Cameron; Camillus; Canaan; Canajoharie; Canandaigua; Candor; Canton; Cape Vincent; Cardiff; Carlisle; Carmel; Caroline; Castile; Castleton-on-Hudson; Catskill; Cattaraugus; Cayuga; Cazenovia; Central Square; Champlain; Charleston; Charlton; Chateaugay; Chatham; Chemung; Cherry Valley; Chittenango; Churchville; Churchville; Cicero; Cincinnatus; Clarence; Clarendon; Clarkson; Claverack; Clermont; Clifton; Clifton Springs; Clinton; Clinton Corners; Clymer; Coeymans; Cohocton; Cohoes; Colchester; Cold Spring; Cold Spring; Coldenham; Columbus; Conklin; Conklingville; Cooperstown; Copenhagen; Corinth; Corning; Cortland; Covert; Coxsackie; Crown Point; Cuba; Danby; Dansville; Darien; De Kalb; De Peyster; Delhi; Denmark; Deposit; DeRuyter; Dobbs Ferry; Dover Plains; Dresden; Dryden; Dunkirk; Earlville; East Bloomfield; East Hampton; East Otto; East Rodman; Easton; Elizabethtown; Ellicottville; Ellington; Ellisburg; Elmira; Esopus; Esperance; Essex; Evans Mills; Fabius; Fairfield; Fairfield; Far Rockaway; Farmington; Fayette; Fayetteville; Fishkill; Fishkill Landing; Flatbush; Florida; Flushing; Fonda; Fordham; Fort Ann; Fort Covington; Fort Edward; Fort Hamilton; Fort Herkimer; Fort Montgomery; Fort Ticonderoga; Fowler; Fowlerville; Frankfort; Franklinville; Fulton; Gainesville; Galway; Gansevoort; Garrattsville; Geneseo; Geneva; Genoa; Gerry; Gilbertsville; Glen Cove; Glens Falls; Gloversville; Goshen; Gouverneur; Granville; Greenbush; Greene; Greenfield; Greenpoint; Greenville; Greenwich; Greenwood; Grove; Groveland; Guilford; Halfmoon; Hamburg; Hamilton; Hamlet; Hammond; Hampton; Hancock; Hannibal; Harrisburg; Harrison; Hartford; Hartwick; Hartwick Seminary; Hastings; Hastings Center; Hastings-on-Hudson; Haverstraw; Hempstead; Henderson; Henrietta; Herkimer; Heuvelton; Highland Falls; Hillsdale; Homer; Honeoye Falls; Hoosick; Hoosick Falls; Hudson; Hudson Falls; Hunter; Huntington; Huron; Hyde Park; Independence; Irvington; Ithaca; Jamaica; Jamestown; Jamesville; Jefferson; Jericho; Johnsburg; Johnstown; Jordan; Kelloggsville; Kinderhook; Kingston; Knoxboro; Kortright; Kortright Center; LaFayette; Lake George; Lake Placid; Lake Ridge; Lansingburgh; Laona; Laurens; Lawrence; Le Roy; Lebanon; Lee; Leeds; Leon; Lewiston; Lima; Lincklaen; Lisle; Little Britain; Little Falls; Little Valley; Livingston; Livonia; Lloyd; Locke; Lockport; Locust Grove; Lodi; Low Hampton; Lowville; Ludlowville; Luzerne; Lyndon; Lyons; Lyonsdale; Madison; Malden; Malone; Mamaroneck; Manheim Center; Manlius; Marbletown; Marcellus; Margaretville; Marion; Marshall; Marshalls; Martinsburg; Maryland; Massena; Massena Springs; Mastic; Medina; Mexico; Middlefield; Middlesex; Middletown; Milan; Mill Neck; Millville; Milton; Milton; Mina; Minaville; Monroe; Montgomery; Monticello; Montour Falls; Mooers; Morrisania; Morrisville; Moscow Hill; Nassau; Nelson; New Berlin; New Brighton; New Britain; New Hackensack; New Hartford; New Haven; New Lebanon; New London; New Paltz; New Rochelle; New Windsor; New York; New York Mills; Newburg; Newburgh; Newtown; Niagara Falls; Nichols; North Bloomfield; North Hempstead; North Hudson; North Lansing; North Salem; Northampton; Northeast; Northumberland; Norway; Norwich; Ogden Center; Ogdensburg; Olean; Olivebridge; Olmstedville; Oneida; Oneida Castle; Oneonta; Onondaga Hill; Oppenheim; Oramel; Oriskany Falls; Ossian; Ossining; Oswego; Otisco; Otto; Ovid; Owasco; Owego; Oxford; Painted Post; Palatine Bridge; Palmyra; Paris; Patchogue; Peekskill; Pelham; Pembroke; Penfield; Penn Yan; Perry; Perrysburg; Peru; Peterboro; Petersburg; Philadelphia; Piermont; Pine Plains; Pitcher; Pittsford; Pittstown; Plattsburgh; Pleasant Valley; Point Peninsula; Pompey; Port Byron; Port Chester; Port Henry; Port Ontario; Port Richmond; Porter Center; Potsdam; Poughkeepsie; Prattsburg; Preble; Pultneyville; Reading Center; Red Hook; Red Hook; Remsen; Rensselaer; Rensselaerville; Rhinebeck; Richfield Springs; Richford; Richmond; Richmond Center; Richmond Hill; Riga; Ripley; Riverdale; Rochester; Rodman; Rome; Romulus; Rondout; Rosendale; Roslyn; Round Lake; Rouses Point; Roxbury; Rushford; Rye; Sackets Harbor; Sacketts Harbor; Sag Harbor; Salem; Sand Lake; Sandy Creek; Saratoga Springs; Saugerties; Sauquoit; Scarborough; Scarsdale; Schaghticoke; Schenectady; Schodack Center; Schodack Landing; Schoharie; Schuylerville; Scipio; Scipio Center; Scott; Seneca Falls; Setauket; Shandaken; Sharon; Sharon Springs; Shelby Center; Sherburne; Sidney; Skaneateles; Smithfield; Sodus; Sodus Point; Solon; Somers; South Onondaga; Southampton; Southold; Spafford; Sparkill; Spencer; Springfield; Springville; Stafford; Stamford; Stanfordville; Staten Island; Steuben; Stillwater; Stockbridge; Stony Brook; Stony Point; Strykersville; Stuyvesant; Sullivan; Summer Hill; Syracuse; Tappan; Tarrytown; Theresa; Ticonderoga; Tivoli; Torrey; Trenton Falls; Tribes Hill; Troy; Truxton; Turin; Tyre; Unadilla; Utica; Venice; Vernon; Verona; Victor; Vienna; Waddington; Wadhams; Wales Center; Walton; Wampsville; Warren; Warsaw; Warwick; Washington Hollow; Waterford; Waterloo; Watertown; Waterville; Waterville; Watervliet; Watkins Glen; Wayland; Wellsville; West Bloomfield; West Charlton; West Farms; West Hebron; West Point; Westernville; Westfield; Westford; Westhampton; Westport; White Lake; White Plains; Whitehall; Whitesboro; Whitney Point; Williamstown; Willsboro; Willseyville; Windham; Windsor; Winfield; Worcester; Wyoming; Yonkers; York;
Copyright © 2008 - 2013 by Andrew J. Morris
A generation which ignores history has no past -- and no future.
History of New York
Select a County:
- Albany -- Allegany -- Bronx -- Broome -- Cattaraugus -- Cayuga -- Chautauqua -- Chemung -- Chenango -- Clinton -- Columbia -- Cortland -- Delaware -- Dutchess -- Erie -- Essex -- Franklin -- Fulton -- Genesee -- Greene -- Hamilton -- Herkimer -- Jefferson -- Kings -- Lewis -- Livingston -- Madison -- Monroe -- Montgomery -- Nassau -- New York -- Niagara -- Oneida -- Onondaga -- Ontario -- Orange -- Orleans -- Oswego -- Otsego -- Putnam -- Queens -- Rensselaer -- Richmond -- Rockland -- Saint Lawrence -- Saratoga -- Schenectady -- Schoharie -- Schuyler -- Seneca -- Steuben -- Suffolk -- Sullivan -- Tioga -- Tompkins -- Ulster -- Warren -- Washington -- Wayne -- Westchester -- Wyoming -- Yates -
Winter Scene at Ontario Beach
Our on-site database does not include an historic photo for New York, do you have one you would like to contribute? Contact Us!
15% - 35% off all Products » The Ready Store
Local History Notes:
The 1854 Gazetteer of the United States by Thomas Baldwin shows:
NEW YORK, one of the Middle States of the United States, and the most populous of the confederacy, is bounded on the N. by Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence, and Canada East; on the E. by Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut; on the S. by the Atlantic, (if we include Long Island,) by New Jersey and Pennsylvania; and W. by Pennsylvania, Lake Erie, and the Niagara river. This state is separated on the W. and N.W. from Canada West, by Lakes Erie and Ontario, and by the Niagara and St. Lawrence rivers; and partly from Vermont by Lake Champlain. It lies between 40° 30' and 45° N. lat., and between (if we include Long Island, a dependency of the state) 72° and 79° 55' W. lon. Its extreme length from E. to W., exclusive of Long Island, is about 335 miles, and its greatest breadth from N. to S. about 308 miles, including an area of about 46,000 square miles, or 29,440,000 acres, of which 12,408,968 only were improved in 1850, showing a great capacity for increase of population, even in the older and more densely inhabited states of North America.
Population: Though originally settled by the Dutch, and having some of its oldest and most respectable families of that descent, the greater infusion of New-England population since the Revolution, has given to the inhabitants of New York more of the characteristics of New England than of Holland. According to the census of 1790, this state had 340,120 inhabitants; 586,756 in 1800; 959,049 in 1810; 1,372,812 in 1820; 1,918,608 in 1830; 2,428,921 in 1840, and 3,097,394 in 1850; of whom 1,544,489 were white males; 1,503,836 white females; 23,452 free colored males, and 25,617 females. This population was distributed in 566,869 families, occupying 473,936 dwellings. Of the entire population, 2,151,196 were born in the state, 288,100 in other states of the Union, 84,820 in England, 343,111 in Ireland, 23,418 in Scotland, 7582 in Wales, 118,398 in Germany, 12,515 in France, 14,757 in other countries, and 6261 whose places of birth were unknown; giving about 21 per cent. of foreign birth. In the twelve months preceding June 1st, 1850, there occurred 44,339 deaths, or nearly 14 persons in every one thousand. In the same year, aid was received by 59,855 paupers, of whom 40,580 were foreigners, at an expense of nearly $14 for each individual. The deaf and dumb numbered 1307, of whom 10 were colored persons; the blind 1272, of whom 51 were colored; the insane 2580, of whom 86 were colored; and the idiotic 1739, of whom 18 were colored.
Counties: New York is divided into 59 counties, viz. Albany, Allegheny, Brooms, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauque, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Kings, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, New York, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Putnam, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Steuben, Suffolk, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Westchester, Wyoming, and Yates. Albany is the capital.
Cities and Towns: New York is filled with populous and thriving towns, and her inland cities and villages exhibit, in their great warehouses and elegant private residences, such indications of wealth and taste as are only looked for in seaport towns or great capitals, in other countries. New York, her metropolis, and the most populous city of the Western continent, is the great centre of commercial operations, not only of the United States, but of all America. Though the population of New York city proper numbered in 1850 but 515,507, yet, added to its different suburbs--Brooklyn, (pop., 96,838,) Williamsburg, (30,780,) and Jersey City and Hoboken (though in another state)--it summed up a total of 653,000 inhabitants. The other most important towns are Albany, population, 50,763; Buffalo, 42,261; Rochester, 36,403; Troy, 28,785, (and in conjunction with West Troy, about 36,000;) Syracuse, 22,271; Utica, 17,565; Poughkeepsie, 13,944; Lockport, 12,323; Oswego, 12,205; Newburg, 11,415; Kingston, 10,232; Auburn, 9548; Fishkill, 9240; Schenectady, 8921; Rome, 7918; Ogdensburg, 7756; Owego, 7159; Ithica, 6909; Hudson, 6280; Canandaigua, 6148; Plattsburg, 5618; Catskill, 5454; Binghampton, Elmira, Dunkirk, Waterford, Batavia, Waterloo, Seneca Falls, Herkimer, Saratoga, Sackett's Harbor, and various other towns, numbering from 2000 to 5000 inhabitants each.
Face of the Country: New York presents every variety of surface, from the rich plains of the western part of the state to the rugged mountains of the E. and N. E. The Appalachian or Alleghanian chain of mountains enters the S. E. of New York (in two separate ridges) from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. That from the former state crosses the Hudson river at and around West Point, about 50 miles from its mouth, and forms the far-famed Highlands of the Hudson, which have given this river a celebrity only second to the Rhine. After passing the Hudson river, this range pursues a northerly course, under the name of the Taconic or Tagkhannuc mountains, to join the Green mountains in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Where the Highlands are cut through by the Hudson river they are perhaps 20 miles in breadth, but seldom reach an altitude of 1500 feet; though in one instance, on the E. bank of the river, near Fishkill, they attain an elevation of nearly 1700 feet. N. W. of the Highlands, and running nearly parallel, are the Shawangunk mountains, which are followed in turn by the far-famed Catskill mountains, which approach the Hudson river from the S. W., run nearly parallel with it for perhaps 20 miles, then trend off to the N. W. toward the Mohawk river. In the latter part of their course they are known as the Helderberg hills. The highest summit of the chain is Roundtop, in Greene county, 3804 feet in altitude. Delaware county is traversed by a ridge called the Oquago branch. But by far the grandest chain of mountains (or rather assemblage of groups and ranges) lie N. of the Mohawk river, and between Lake Ontario on the W. and Lakes Champlain and George on the E. These traverse, under various local names, and in different directions, (but mostly N. and N. E.,) the counties of Herkimer, Fulton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Warren, Essex, Clinton, Franklin, Hamilton, and St. Lawrence. The most important group, chiefly lying in Essex county, is the Adirondack, the highest peak of which, Mount Marcy, or Tahawus, has an elevation of 5467 feet, and is the loftiest summit in the state. The Catskill or Helderberg mountains seem to resume their course beyond the Mohawk river, in Herkimer county, and to extend beyond the St. Lawrence into Canada, under the name of the Chateauguay range. There are other ranges of highlands in Oneida and Lewis counties. Speaking of the western portion of the state, (i.e. W. of Lake Cayuga,) Professor Hall remarks--"This district, bordering Lake Ontario on the N., is a low plateau, gradually rising to the S., for a distance varying from 4 to 8 or 9 miles, where we abruptly ascend a terrace, which at its western extremity attains a height of 200 feet, but which slope gently down almost to the general level farther E. From the top of this terrace, we pass over a broad plateau of nearly level country, slightly depressed towards the centre, but rising gently again to the S., till we come to the base of a second terrace, having a general height of 60' feet or more above the country on the N. Beyond the terrace last mentioned, the country is level, and generally even for several miles, when we commence a gradual ascent to higher ground. Although the country to the S. of this is hilly, and in some parts rising to an elevation of 2500 feet above the ocean, and from 600 to 1000 feet above the deepest valleys, yet it must be remembered that there are no ranges of mountains. We must fancy this whole southern border of the state as having once been a high and broad plateau, and that from denudation, the breaking up of the strata in some places, together with the action of waves and currents, has resulted this irregular and uneven surface." The first ridge, near Lake Ontario, forms the falls of the Genesee at Rochester, and the second ridge those in Alleghany county.
Geology: Though New York has undergone the most complete geological survey of any state in the Union, by a corps of competent geologists and naturalists, who have ably reported their proceedings in a number of ponderous volumes, the character of our work does not admit of giving more than a brief outline of the geology of the state. Commencing in the N. E., the greater portion of the district N. of the Mohawk and E. of Lake Ontario is primary in formation, with, however, a belt of Potsdam sandstone on the N., which is in turn separated from the St. Lawrence by a second belt of calciferous (lime-producing) sandrock. Between Lake Ontario and the primary tract named above, in the order named, proceeding S. to Oswego, are groups of Potsdam sandstone, calciferous sandrock; Black river, Birdseye, and Trenton limestone; Utica slate, Helderberg limestone, (including grits and sandstones,) and gray sandstone. S. of Lake Ontario, narrow belts succeed each other in the following order:--1. Of the Medina sandstone, (usually a red sandstone, sometimes variegated, and giving origin to salt springs ;) 2. Of the Clinton group, (a variable composition of sandstones, shales, impure limestones, iron ores, &c. ;) 3. Of the Niagara group, (a limestone resting upon shale, and forming the celebrated cataract of that name;) 4. Of the Onondaga salt group, (limestone and slate, with salt springs ;) 5. Of Helderberg limestone; and 6. Of the Hamilton group, (composed of calcareous, sandy, or fossiliferous shales.) A wide zone of the Portage and Chemung groups (composed mainly, the former of flagstones and shales, and the latter of highly fossiliferous shales and thin bedded sandstones) occupy the S.W. portion of the state, extending into Pennsylvania, and sending off a narrow arm to near Catskill, on the Hudson, where it bends to the S. W., surrounding on the N. and S. E. a large tract of red sandstone lying between itself and the Susquehanna river. E. of the narrow arm just described, and between it and the Hudson, are narrow belts of the Hamilton group, Helderberg limestone, Medina sandstone, and gray sandstone. Washington, Rensselaer, Columbia, Schenectady, parts of Saratoga, Albany, Montgomery, Putnam, Orange, Ulster, and Dutchess counties, are occupied by the Hudson river group, (composed mostly of shales and shaley sandstone, with thin courses of limestone.) Westchester, most of Putnam, and parts of Dutchess and Orange counties, are primitive. Long Island is diluvial on the N., and alluvial on the S. side.
Minerals: New York, though deficient in coal, (the geological formation being too old for its production,) abounds in that most useful of all minerals, iron, especially in the N. E. and S. E. counties, and in Wayne county. The magnetic ore is most plentiful in the N. E., and the hematitic in the S. E. counties. Bog ore is extensively diffused. Lead exists in great quantities in St. Lawrence county; and mines have been recently opened in Ulster. It is also found in Sullivan, Columbia, and Westchester counties. Zinc, copper, and titanium, exist in several counties. Molybdenum, manganese, arsenic, cerium, silver, and bismuth are occasionally found. The central and some of the western counties contain abundance of gypsum, which is largely used as a manure, and extensively exported. Our geological article shows there is no scarcity of lime, especially in the central and western counties. Marble of fine quality is exported from Sing-Sing. Sulphuret of iron is found in St. Lawrence, and carburet in Essex, Clinton, and Dutchess counties. Gneiss, sandstone, and limestone, suitable for building, are abundant. New York is especially celebrated for its mineral springs, particularly its medicinal springs, the most noted of which are those of Saratoga, Ballston, New Lebanon, Sharon, and Avon springs. Onondaga yields large quantities of table salt: about 4,000,000 bushels were produced in this county alone in 1850. There are also salt springs in Erie, Genesee, and Orleans counties. Natural issues of carbareted hydrogen exist in several counties. The village of Fredonia, in Chautauqua county, is lighted from one of these, as is the lighthouse of Barcelona, in the same county.
Rivers, Lakes, &c: New York possesses a greater amount of navigable waters than any other state of the Union. On the E. is the Hudson, traversing the state for about 350 miles, 150 of which are navigable for large steamers and schooners, and 120 for ships; on the N. E., Lake Champlain, navigable for 120 miles; and on the W. and N. W., Lakes Erie and Ontario, and the river St. Lawrence, all navigable for large steamers, and Ontario and Erie for ships of heavy tonnage. In the S. E. of the state rises the Delaware, and in the interior, the Susquehanna, which pass S. into Pennsylvania, and float down, in the high waters of spring and autumn, lumber and other products of New York, to the markets of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. The W. of the state is crossed by the Genesee, which furnishes, by its numerous cataracts, immense water-power, though it is only navigable for small steam or keel boats, and for those only by stages between the falls. The Oswego is the outlet of the central lakes, and affords valuable waterpower. The two rivers last mentioned and the Black river flow into Lake Ontario. The Oswegatchee, Grass, Racket, and St. Rigis rivers, each of about 150 miles in length, join the St. Lawrence; and the Saranac and Au Sable empty themselves into Lake Champlain. All these rivers are in the N. E. of the state. The Mohawk, an affluent of the Hudson, about 200 miles in length, drains the central counties of Eastern New York. New York abounds in small and picturesque lakes. In the E. is Lake George, so celebrated for the grandeur of its scenery; in the centre are Lakes Oneida, Skeneateles, Owasco, Cayuga, Seneca, Crooked, and Canandaigua; in the S. W., Chautauqua; and in the N. E., Black, Saranac, and Long lakes; besides many other small but beautiful sheets of water. The larger of these lakes vary in length from 10 to 36 miles. The principal bays are New York bay, opening into the Atlantic, and Sackett's harbor, at the E. end of Lake Ontario. Long Island sound, 120 miles long, separates Long Island from Connecticut.
Islands: There are several important islands belonging to this state, chief among which is Long Island, about 115 miles in length, between Long Island sound and the Atlantic ocean; Staten Island, (embracing Richmond county,) between New York bay on the E., and Raritan bay and Arthurkill sound on the S. and W.; and Grand Island, in the Niagara river, belonging to the State of New York.
Objects of Interest to Tourists: Under this heading New York may justly claim a large space. On her western border, in a river or strait of 34 miles in length, running from Lake Erie to Ontario, and pouring the waters of the Great Lakes over a precipice of 165 feet in perpendicular height, thunders the far-famed and unrivalled cataract of Niagara, in whose presence all stand dumb, with no power to describe, but only to wonder and adore. The falls are about 20 miles below the entrance to the strait, at the N. E. extremity of Lake Erie, and 14 miles above its junction with Lake Ontario. About 3 miles below its commencement, the river divides into two arms, which embrace an island, called Grand Island, 12 miles long, and from 2 to 7 miles wide. The banks of the upper portion of Niagara river are low, not usually exceeding 20 or 30 feet, and the current is comparatively moderate. Near 3 miles below Grand island the rapids (scarcely less interesting than the falls themselves) commence, and after a course of rather more than a half-mile, terminate in the great cataract. Goat island, a quarter of a mile wide, and half a mile long from N. to S., extends to the very brow of the precipice, and divides the falls into two portions, the higher of which is on the American side, but the greater body of water on the Canadian. The American fall is again subdivided, very unequally, by Iris island, with the greater of these subdivisions nearest the New York shore. Below the falls, the river runs between perpendicular cliffs for three or four miles, in a channel of from 350 to 800 feet wide, with great force and impetuosity, now ruffled by rapids, and now eddying in whirlpools, fill it is released from its narrow and rocky bed, below the Queenstown heights, from whence it flows tranquilly into Lake Ontario. Between the falls and Queenstown (where navigation commences) occur two rapids, caused partly by the narrowing of the bed of the river, and partly by the rocks at the bottom. At the head of the first rapids, two miles below the falls, the river is spanned by a suspension bridge 800 feet in length, and 230 feet above the water. At the southern extremity of the first rapids, an angle in the river causes a reflex in the current, which forms a number of eddies, commonly called "The Whirlpool," more remarkable for the heaping up of the waters in the middle of the river, by the impetus of the current, than for any peculiar violence of the whirlpools themselves. Below this pool is another rapid of about half a mile in extent. Little has hitherto been said of the beauty of Niagara. When one has gazed till his senses are confused, at the more stupendous parts of the scene, there is a delightful relief in roaming about the larger and smaller islands, and viewing the numberless small cascades and rapids, which are accessible by means of the bridges from the American shore to Iris, Goat, and one of the smaller islands.
In any other state not possessing such an overwhelming object of natural grandeur as Niagara, the other falls of New York would rank as prime objects of interest. The Cohoes falls, in the Mohawk, about three miles from its mouth, have a perpendicular descent of 70 feet, and when the river is full, in the spring and autumn, form a grand cataract. Little falls, about 12 miles below Utica, are formed by the passage of the Mohawk through the mountains. The river descends 42 feet in one mile, tossing and foaming among the rocks, while it is frowned on from above by the rugged and picturesque walls of this mountain gorge. Fifteen miles N. of Utica, in West Canada creek, (a tributary of the Mohawk,) is a series of cascades and rapids, (known as Trenton falls,) that extend over a space of two miles, in a channel which the river has cut from the solid limestone rock to a depth varying from 100 to 150 feet, forming a clean limestone trough, the middle of which only (in summer) is occupied by a narrow stream of water, almost as black as ink. Proceeding up this narrow gorge, with perpendicular sides of solid rock, a series of rapids and falls are passed at considerable intervals, presenting a great variety of cascades, of from 8 or 10 to 100 feet in height. The great charm in these falls is not in the body of water, which (except in freshets) is not great, but in the variety and wildness of the views. Hemmed in from all the world in this recess, where the sun can penetrate but for a very few hours in the day --scrambling along the edge, where there is often barely room for a pathway, (and at one point not even for a full foothold,) the tourist is led on, if it be his first visit, from one. agreeable surprise to another; and some hesitate not to give them the preference over Niagara in the amount of pleasure they produce. The Genesee river has a series of cataracts, surpassing in altitude those of the Rhine, the boast of Europe. The flourishing city of Rochester owes its importance to one of these, within the city limits, which has a perpendicular descent of 97 feet, and which gives motion to the machinery of its celebrated flour mills and factories. There are other falls within the vicinity of Rochester, making a total descent of 226 feet. But these are far inferior in wildness and picturesqueness to those nearer the sources of the river, in Alleghany county, where the Genesee descends by three falls of 60, 90, and 110 feet, within the space of two miles, through a gorge worn in the solid rock to the depth of 400 feet. In the neighborhood of Ithaca are a number of cascades, set off by highly picturesque accompaniments, one of which has a perpendicular pitch of 110 feet. Baker's, Hadley's, Jessup's, and Glen's falls, (the latter made classic in Cooper's "Last of the Mohicans,") all near the sources of the Hudson river, are well worthy of a visit. There are also two interesting falls in the strait leading from Lake George into Lake Champlain, also one near Hudson, and another near West Point. Lake George stands prominent among the lakes of the United States for the boldness of its shores, and the transparency of its waters. It is studded with beautiful islands, and shut in by precipitous highlands, reaching in one instance an elevation of 2000 feet. A steamer performs daily trips on this lake, going and returning the same day. A visit to the classic ground of Fort Ticonderoga, at the outlet of Lake George into Lake Champlain, may form a part of the same day's excursion.
We now come to the places of fashionable resort, first among which, on the continent of America, stands Saratoga, visited annually, during the summer months, by its thousands in pursuit of health, and by its tens of thousands seeking pleasure and excitement. Saratoga springs are in Saratoga county, in the E. of the state. Its waters are of great variety, and of very active properties. Sharon Sulphur springs, in Schoharie county, are much visited by invalids, and have the advantage over Saratoga in the picturesqueness of the surrounding scenery. New Lebanon, celebrated for its warm springs, is situated in Rensselaer county, near the boundary of Massachusetts. Avon springs, 20 miles S. of Rochester, are much resorted to. Ballston Spa, 7 miles from Saratoga, is less celebrated than formerly, partly from its waters having lost a portion of their virtues, but more probably from the greater attractions of Saratoga. (For full descriptions, see separate articles.) The scenery on the Hudson river has long constituted one of the great attractions of tourists to New York. Easily and pleasantly accessible, it is probably better known than any American scenery, except Niagara falls, and ranks second to no river in romantic interest in the known world. Directly after leaving New York, you come upon the Palisades, on the New Jersey shore, composed of perpendicular walls of trap rock, of from 200 to 500 feet in height. These lose themselves (about 35 miles up the river) in the Highlands proper, which have a base of about 20 miles. Here the Hudson has burst its way at some distant period through the mountains, leaving on each side a rampart of almost perpendicular hills, of from 600 to 1700 feet in elevation above the level of the river. About 100 miles above New York, we come abreast of the Catskill mountains, which present a very abrupt front to the river, and run nearly parallel to it for about 20 miles. These mountains are not of great elevation, but their grandeur consists in the extended and unbroken views afforded from the piazza of the Pine-orchard Mountain House, (2276 feet above the sea,) up and down the valley of the Hudson for 70 miles in each direction, and across to the Green mountains in Massachusetts. At Kauterskill falls, three miles S. W. from the hotel, a small stream is precipitated 180 feet, into a circular amphitheatre of great wildness, from whence it takes a second leap into another chasm. The great charm of this fall is the wild scenery formed by the gorge, (the bed of the stream,) which winds round the mountains, and shuts out every view but that beneath your feet and over your head. The Adirondac mountains, the highest in the state, and only second to the White mountains of New Hampshire and Black mountain in North Carolina, have as yet been but little visited by fashionable tourists. Probably the best account of them is to be had in Headley's "Adirondac Mountains." Mount Tahawus, or Marcy, the highest peak, commands an extensive panorama of mountains, among which repose 30 visible lakes and ponds. The completion of the New York and Erie railway through the southern part of the state has laid open some fine scenery but little known to the public heretofore. The passage of the road along the shores of the Delaware river, and through Orange, Rockland, and Sullivan counties, offers the boldest scenery. In Manlius, Onondago county, are the "Green Lakes," Supposed to be of volcanic production, one of which is on the top of a hill, with banks 200 feet high, and with beautifully green water to the depth of 400 feet. This lake was once known to rise suddenly and overflow its banks, but the water soon receded to its ordinary level.
Climate: New York presents considerable diversities of climate. In the N. the winters are long and severe, somewhat mitigated in the western part by the proximity of the great lakes and the prevalence of S. W. winds, and varied again in the S. E., below the Catskill mountains, by the effect of the sea air, which tempers the heats of summer and chills the air of spring. At Buffalo there is great irregularity in the time of the ice leaving the harbor. "Some 12 or 15 years since," writes a correspondent, "their harbor was completely blocked up by ice till May, no steamboat having left the harbor till the 15th of that month; but this is very unusual." According to observations kept by Leander Wetherell, Esq., at Rochester, during 10 years the average mean temperature was 47°.36; highest point of the mercury, 102°; lowest, 9° below zero; average fall of rain and melted snow, 33.30 inches.
Soil and Productions: The soil of this great state is very various. The western parts, known as the Genesee flats, and the valleys of the Hudson and Mohawk, have excellent soils, while much of the N. E. of the state is poor and cold. No general description would give a correct idea of the soils, as in the same county may be found parts that are hilly or mountainous, and comparatively sterile, while the soil of the valleys is a rich alluvion. New York, however, on the whole, may be safely called a fertile state. The exceptions are mostly in the mountainous portions, The descriptions of the counties in this as well as in other states, will best give the qualities of the soil in particular localities. Long Island is easily improved in the western part, though it is not naturally very fertile. It is very important for its market products. The eastern portion is poor and sandy. Great attention is paid in this state to scientific agriculture, and endeavors made to introduce a better mode of culture; to promote which end, agricultural societies have been formed, and journals established devoted to this subject. New York is first of the states of the confederacy in the amount of live stock, oats, Irish potatoes, barley, buckwheat, grass-seeds, orchard products, products of market gardens, butter, cheese, hay, hops, maple sugar, beeswax, honey, and slaughtered animals produced; second in the amount of wool and rye, and third in that of wheat raised. Besides these, large quantities of Indian corn, beans, peas, flax, and maple molasses, with some sweet potatoes, tobacco, wine, hemp, and silk were produced. The fruits are apples, pears, cherries, plums, and peaches, with various kinds of berries. In 1850 there were 170,698 farms, containing 12,408,968 acres of improved land, producing 13,121,498 bushels of wheat; 4,148,182 of rye; 17,858,400 of Indian corn; 26,552,814 of oats; 741,636 of peas and beans; 15,398,362 of Irish potatoes; 3,585,059 of barley; 3,183,955 of buckwheat; 184,715 of grass-seeds; 10,071,301 pounds of wool; 79,766,094 of butter; 49,741,413 of cheese; 2,536,299 of hops; 940,557 of flax; 10,357,484 of maple sugar; 1,756,190 of beeswax and honey, and 3,728,797 tons of hay; live stock valued at $73,570,499; market products, $912,047; orchard fruits, $1,761,950, and slaughtered animals, $13,573,983.
Forest Trees: The forest-trees are several varieties of oak and pine, and spruce, tamarack, lurch, hemlock, fir, walnut, and sugar-maple, chestnut, ash, elm, beech, butternut, sycamore, alder, cedar, locust, laurel, mulberry, sassafras, birch, tilia, poplar, cherry, hornbeam, sumach, cucumber-tree, crabapple, and thorn. The forests about the sources of the Susquehanna and Delaware furnish large quantities of pine for the Philadelphia and Baltimore markets.
Animals: The forests of New York were formerly ranged by the moose, stag, and reindeer; but these are now seldom if ever met with. Among the existing animals are the American deer, black bear, panther, wildcat, wolf, (gray and black,) wolverines, otters, minks, beavers, muskrats, ermine weasels, racoons, skunks, marmots, rabbits, hares, squirrels, and a number of the smaller quadrupeds. Among the birds are the golden and bald eagle, various species and varieties of hawks, owls, and buzzards, wild turkeys and pigeons, quail, grouse, woodcock, willet, snipe, coot, grebes, dipper, petrel, cormorant, pelican, gannet, skimmer, tern, gull, sheldrake, canvas-back and other wild ducks, teal widgeon, wild goose, swan, and brant, with an endless variety of the order Passeres, or small birds.
Manufactures: New York, though extensively engaged in manufactures, does not maintain the relative pre-eminence in this respect that she holds in commerce and agriculture; falling behind Pennsylvania and Massachusetts in absolute, and behind New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island in relative amount. In 1850, there were in the state 23,823 manufacturing establishments, each producing $500 and upward annually; of these, 86 were engaged in cotton manufactures, employing $4,176,920 capital, and 2632 male, and 3688 female hands; consuming raw material worth $1,985,973, and producing 44,901,475 yards of stuff, and 2,180,600 pounds of yarn, valued at $3,591,989; 249 woollen establishments, employing $4,459,370 capital, and 4262 male, and 2412 female hands; consuming raw material worth $3,888,292, and producing 7,924,252 yards of stuff, and 261,700 pounds of yarn, valued at $7,030,624; and 401 furnaces, forges, &c., employing $6,358,782 capital, and 7467 male hands; consuming raw material worth $3,553,109, and producing 141,246 tons of pig, cast, and wrought iron, valued at $7,943,868; the manufacture of malt and spirituous liquors employed $2,585,900 capital; consuming 2,062,250 bushels of barley; 1,647,266 of Indian corn; 909,067 of rye; 6707 of oats; 60,940 of apples; 24,500 hogsheads of molasses, and 581 tons of hops; employing 1380 hands, and producing 644,700 barrels of ale, &c.; 9,231,700 gallons of whiskey and wine, and 2,488,800 gallons of rum; 942 tanneries, employing $5,025,143; consuming raw material worth $6,065,221, and producing manufactured leather valued at $9,804,000. Homemade manufactures valued at $1,280,833 were produced.
Internal Improvements: New York, headed by her great statesman, De Witt Clinton, has the honor of taking the lead in internal improvements, from which enterprise she is now reaping an ample reward in her commercial pre-eminence and wealth. In 1817 was commenced the great work of connecting the waters of the Atlantic with the great lakes, by breaking the soil for the Erie and Hudson canal, which is 364 miles long, and (originally) forty feet wide. It was completed in 1825, at a cost of about $7,000,000. In 1852, this and the branch canals delivered at tidewater property valued at $67,288,376, of which the Champlain and Erie canals alone left at Albany, (independent of other depôts,) products valued at $27,439,188, while the clearances from the same place were $31,476,375. Besides the Champlain canal, there were various branches connecting with the Erie and Hudson canal, viz. one from Utica to Binghampton; one from Syracuse to Oswego; one from Geneva to Montezuma, and one from Rochester to Danville. The other canals are the Delaware and Hudson, connecting the Hudson river with the coal mines in the N. E. of Pennsylvania; the Chemung, connecting Seneca lake with Elmira, and the Crooked Lake, uniting Pen Yan with Dresden. Besides these are the Black River and Genesee Valley canals, not yet completed. New York has, therefore, a total of nearly 700 miles of canal completed, and nearly 200 in course of construction, at an aggregate probable cost of not much less than $17,000,000, exclusive of the enlargements of the Erie and other canals, for which a debt of nearly $9,000,000 has already been contracted, although the work is not yet completed. The canal debt, September 30, 1852, was $17,001,109.16; receipts for canal tolls, the fiscal year ending the same date, $3,116,321.23, which is the interest of $52,985,763, at 6 per cent. The curtailing of New York has been done by the state; but private enterprise has added a much greater amount of railway at an abundantly greater cost. In January, 1853, there were 2129 miles of railway completed in New York, and 925 in course of construction. Those already completed connect New York with Dunkirk and Buffalo viâ Albany, and also by a cross railroad from Elmira to Canandaigua. Besides these are various branch railroads, uniting Rome with Cape Vincent at the outlet of Lake Ontario; Syracuse with Oswego; Rousse's Point (at the head of Lake Champlain) with Ogdensburg; Whitehall with Albany and Troy; Hudson with the Massachusetts line; New York with Chatham Five Corners, (on the Boston and Albany railroad ;) Albany with Rutland, Vermont; Corning with Blossburg, Pennsylvania, (coal mines;) Hornelsville with the Attica and Buffalo railroad; Rochester with Niagara falls, and Buffalo with Erie, Pennsylvania. Several branches from New York city connect with lines through Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island to Boston. In short, the great commercial metropolis of the state enjoys a connected intercourse, by railway, with almost every important town in this or in the neighboring states: See Table of Canals and Railroads, APPENDIX. There were in New York, in October, 1852, 19 plank-roaks, with an aggregate of 2106 miles, costing $3,860,298.
Commerce: New York enjoys great facilities for both foreign and domestic commerce, and surpasses every other state in the United States in the absolute amount of tonnage owned by her citizens, though that of Massachusetts is relatively greater. The tonnage of New York in 1852 was 1,134,831.02; of which 111,144.62 was steam tonnage, more than one-fifth of that of all the United States. The number of vessels built in the same period was 179, 45 of which were steamers total tonnage, 72,072 76/95. Great as is the tonnage of New York, it does not fairly represent her proportion of commerce, since many vessels built and owned in other states, are employed in the carrying trade of her commercial metropolis. The share of New York alone, in the trade of the lakes amounted in 1851 to more than $132,000,000; consisting mainly of flour, wheat, corn, and other grains, lumber, staves, pork, lard, cheese, tallow, butter, and tobacco. An immense transit trade is done over her canals and railroads: 3,162,375 barrels of flour; 6,062,312 bushels of wheat 5,176,419 of corn; 2,004,186 of barley; 5,382,992 of other grains; 5,821,076 pounds of butter; 9,736,593 of lard; 15,080,306 of cheese; 7,575,232 of wool; 9,985,615 of bacon; 64,311 barrels of beef; 69,423 of pork, and 35,975 of ashes were received at tidewater between the opening and closing of navigation, in 1852. While Buffalo received from the East by canal, imports to the amount of $41,810,398, the property arriving at Dunkirk and Tonawanda amounted to more than $5,000,000. In 1850 there arrived by canal at tidewater on the Hudson river, property valued at $55,474,637; $53,927,500 in 1851, and $57,288,766 in 1852. At Buffalo, among the leading articles landed Were 5,549,778 bushels of wheat; 5,136,231 of corn; 2,596,231 of oats; 1,299,513 barrels of flour; 95,194,590 feet of lumber; 13,954,552 staves; 9,796,590 pounds, and 74,092 barrels of pork; 7,028,700 pounds of lard; 9,796,590 of butter; 6,190,950 of cheese; 10,239,586 of tobacco, besides large quantities of beef, seed, wool, hides, lead, rye, ashes, whiskey, leather, and some fish, iron, and coal. The table of produce arriving at tidewater during 153 days of 1853, show a considerable increase in wheat, (but a diminution in most other grains,) a large one in wool, bacon, and butter, over 1852, but a great decrease in flour, Indian corn, and in other grains, and in cheese and ashes. The foreign imports of the state for 1852, amounted to $132,329,306, and the exports to $87,484,456. Tonnage entered, 2,900,062, cleared, 2,477,720: See NEW YORK CITY.
Education: This great state has taken an active interest in providing for the education of all classes in the elementary branches of learning; but her efforts have, latterly, been somewhat interfered with by religious jealousies. According to the governor's message, January, 1853, there was a school fund of $6,641,930.92; made up of the common school fund, $2,354,530.09; United States deposits fund, $4,014,520.70, and the literary fund, $272,880.12. According to the same report, there were in 1851, attending the public schools, 862,507 children; attending private schools, 31,767; number of volumes in the school libraries 1,570,131; amount paid to teachers, $1,681,316; for district libraries, $90,579.50, and for building and repairing school houses, &c., $477,918.51; making a total expenditure for school purposes of $2,249,814.02. There is a normal school for instruction in the art of teaching, at Albany, which is in a very flourishing condition, and had, in 1852, 274 pupils, from all parts of the state, of whom 9 were Indians. The free academy, or high-school in New York city, is also educating a large number of youth in the higher branches. Other free academies are being formed in different parts of the state; one at Lockport had 400 pupils during the year 1852, and another is in process of organization at Utica. Geneva College has become a free college, under the name of the Hobart Free College. Columbia College receives a certain number of pupils from the free schools in New York city every year, and it is proposed to make other colleges and academies partially free by state appropriations. Among the educational institutions in New York, is the New York Conference Academy, in Charlotteville, Schoharie county, Which gives a collegiate education at very moderate expense, and under such regulations as to be highly advantageous to youth of moderate means. There were in 1852, in New York state, 8 colleges, with an aggregate of about 896 students, and 75,400 volumes; six theological schools, with 248, and 3 medical schools with 700 students: See Table of Colleges, APPENDIX.
Religious Denominations: Of the 4084 churches in New York, in 1850, belonging to 34 different sects, the Baptists owned 776; the Christians, 62; Congregational, 214; Dutch Reformed, 232; Episcopalians, 275; Friends, 132; Lutherans, 80; Methodists. 1215; Presbyterians, 662; Roman Catholics, 174; Union, 74; Unitarians, 22, and Universalists, 110. The other churches were divided among Africans, Covenanters, Free Church, Jews, Mennonites, Moravians, Seceders, Shakers, and some others, giving 1 church to every 758 persons. Value of church property, $21,132,707. There is also a lunatic asylum on Blackwell's Island which will be described under NEW YORK CITY.
Public Institutions: New York has three penitentiaries on the silent system, one at Sing Sing, on the Hudson, one at Auburn, and one in Clinton county; in the latter the convicts are employed in digging, separating, and preparing iron ore for the neighboring furnaces. According to the governor's report, January, 1853, there had been, in the preceding year, 869 convicts at Sing Sing, 759 at Auburn, and 155 in Clinton county. The expenses at Auburn exceeded the income by $14,000, at Sing Sing by $7000, and at Clinton by $27,000. There is a house of refuge for juvenile offenders in New York city, and one at Rochester. There is a state lunatic asylum at Utica, which treated 825 patients during the year 1852, of whom 156 have been discharged cured, 53 improved, 152 unimproved, and 39 have died.1 There is a deaf and dumb, and a blind asylum, in New York city, the former of which had 259 pupils in January, 1853, of whom 189 were supported by the state, and the latter had 153, of which number 42 are employed in workshops. A state asylum for idiots has been recently established near Albany, and had, in 1853, forty-two pupils under treatment, and so far the results have been encouraging. There are a great number of benevolent and other local institutions, which will be described in their respective localities.
Government, Finances, &c: New York, almost an empire in resources and population within itself, is ruled by a governor and lieutenant-governor, each elected by the people for two years, and by a senate of 32, and a house of representatives of 128 members, the former elected for two years, and the latter annually, by the people. The governor receives a salary of $4000 per annum, and the lieutenant-governor $6 per diem during the sessions of the senate, of which he is ex officio president. The members of the legislature receive $3 per diem, and $1 for every ten miles travel. The judiciary consists--1. Of a court for the trial of impeachments, composed of the president of the senate, (who is also president of the court,) and the whole or a majority of the senate, and the whole or a majority of the court of appeals. If the governor is impeached, the lieutenant-governor cannot act as a member of the court. Two-thirds of the members present must concur for a conviction, and their judgment only extends to removal from office. 2. Of a court of appeals, which is composed of eight judges, of whom four are elected by the people, for 8 years, and four selected each year from the judges of the supreme court having the shortest time to serve. Of the judges elected by popular vote, one is chosen every second year, and the one having the shortest time to serve is chief judge. This court has power to reverse the decisions of the supreme court, or the old supreme court, and court of chancery. 3. Supreme and circuit courts, composed of 32 judges, for the election of whom the state is divided into 8 judicial districts, each one of which elects 4 judges for 8 years: one judge goes out of office every second year. Four terms of the supreme court, at least, are held in each district every year, and one special term and two circuit courts. The supreme court has jurisdiction in law and equity, and power to review judgments of the county courts, but the circuit courts are only for the trial of issues of fact. 4. County, or surrogates' courts, which have the usual jurisdiction of courts of probate. 5. Criminal courts, composed (except in the city and county of New York) of one of the judges of the supreme court, the county judge, and two justices of the peace, chosen members of the court of sessions. In New York city and county, to a judge of the supreme court, this court adds any two of the following officers, viz. judges of the court of common pleas, mayor, recorder, and aldermen. Courts of sessions are composed of one county judge and two justices of the peace. 6. Courts of New York city and county, viz. a superior court, a court of common pleas, and a marine court. The judges of the court of appeals and the supreme court have salaries of $2500 each; of the superior court of New York city, $3500; of the common pleas, $3000, and of the marine court, $2000. The judges of all these courts are elective. Every male citizen of the age of 21 years, who shall have been a citizen ten days, (i. e. all foreigners whose citizenship or probation of five years shall have been matured ten days,) and an inhabitant of the state one year, of the county four months, and of the election district 30 days, shall be entitled to a vote. But no man of color may vote, till he has been three years a citizen, and possessed of a freehold estate of the value of $250.
The assessed value of property in New York, in 1850, was $715,369,028, which, as in all the states, is much below the real value. The public debt in January, 1853, was $24,323,838.64, of which $15,501,109.16 was canal debt, and $1,500,000 canal revenue certificates. School fund, $6,612,851; productive public property, $35,115,237, and ordinary expenses, exclusive of schools and debt, $750,000. In September, 1852, New York had 277 banks, with an aggregate capital of $62,207,216, a circulation of $29,934,657, and $9,993,815 in coin.
History: Henry Hudson, an Englishman in the employ of the Dutch East India Company, first ascended the Hudson river in 1609, but no permanent settlement was made till 1614, when the Dutch founded Fort Orange, now Albany, and New Amsterdam, now New York city. The English claimed the right of prior discovery, which led to frequent conflicts. In 1664 the colony surrendered to the Duke of York, was retaken by the Dutch in 1673, but surrendered finally to the English in 1674. The first legislative assembly was convoked in 1683. New York suffered considerably from Indian depredations in the wars waged between France and England in 1690, 1702, and 1744. In 1690 Schenectady was taken and burnt by the savages, and many of the inhabitants massacred. The shores of Lake George and Champlain have been made classic by the struggles they witnessed between the French and English previous to the American Revolution. This state took an active part in the war of independence, was the theatre of many military engagements, and gave Jay and Hamilton to the councils of the nation in that period of trial and doubt. The defeat of Washington on Long Island and at White Plains in the autumn of 1776, the surrender of Burgoyne in October, 1777, and the taking of Stony Point by Wayne in July, 1779, are the most important actions that took place on the soil of this state during the Revolutionary contest. The sanguinary naval battle on Lake Champlain, in the war of 1812, in which McDonough defeated the British after a hard fought action, and several other minor engagements, took place within the limits of New York in the last struggle with Great Britain.
Biographical Sketch of Daniel Stevens Dickinson
Daniel Stevens Dickinson, senator, was born in Goshen, Conn., Sept. 11, 1800. He was instructed in the lower branches at a school in Guilford, N.Y., and acquired a knowledge of Latin and higher mathematics while learning the trade of tailor. After serving his time he taught in district schools, practised surveying, and studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1828 and practised in Guilford and subsequently in Binghamton, N.Y., which place he made his home. He served in the state legislature as senator from Chenango county, 1837-38, and in 1840 was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for lieutenant-governor of the state. He was elected, however, in 1842 and served ex officio as president of the canal board and of the court of errors. In !1844 Governor Brock appointed him a U.S. senator to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Nathaniel P. Tallmadge, and on the convening of the state legislature in January, 1845, his appointment was ratified and he was also elected for the succeeding term, ending March 4, 1851. He served for several years as chairman of the committee on finance. He was a Hunker Democrat and in the discussion of the question of slavery in the territories was the first to advocate in the U.S. senate, Dec. 13, 1847, the principles known as popular sovereignty as advanced by Isaac Butts in the Rochester Daily Advertiser, Feb. 8, 1847, sustained by Senator Lewis Cass, Dec. 24, 1847, in his Nicholson letter, and by Stephen A. Douglas in the senate June 17, 1850. In 1852 he received the vote of the Virginia delegation in the Democratic national convention at Baltimore for President of the United States, and he made a notable speech in which he declined the honor in favor of General Cass. He was appointed collector of the port of New York by President Pierce in 1852, but declined the office after the nomination had been unanimously confirmed by the senate. He addressed vast public assemblages in New York, Pennsylvania and the New England states in 1861 in behalf of a vigorous prosecution of the war and the upholding of the government, and the same year was elected attorney-general of New York on the Republican ticket by 100,000 majority. President Lincoln appointed him a commissioner to settle the northwestern boundary question, but he declined, as he did a nomination to the bench of the New York court of appeals, made by Governor Fenton. In the Republican national convention of 1864 he received 150 votes as the vice-presidential nominee. President Lincoln made him district attorney for the southern district of New York in 1865 and he served in that capacity during the remainder of his active life. He received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Hamilton in 1858. See Life and Speeches of Daniel S. Dickinson by his brother J. R. Dickinson (2 vols., 1867). He died in New York city, April 12, 1866.
From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans,
Johnson, Rossiter, editor
Nathaniel Pitcher Biographical Sketch
Nathaniel Pitcher, governor of New York, was born in Litchfield, Conn., in 1777. He removed to Sandy Hill, N.Y., in early life; represented Washington county in the state assembly in 1806 and 1815-17, and was a delegate to the state constitutional convention of 1821. He was a Democratic representative in the 16th, 17th and 23d congresses, 1819-23 and 1831-33; lieutenant-governor of New York, 1826-28, and acting governor of New York, after the death of Governor Clinton, from February, 1828, to January, 1829. He died at Sandy Hill, N.Y., May 25, 1836.
From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans,
Johnson, Rossiter, editor
Roswell Pettibone Flower - A Biography
Roswell Pettibone Flower, governor of New York, was born in Theresa, N.Y., Aug. 7, 1835; fourth son of Nathan M. and Mary Ann (Boyle) Flower. His father was a native of Greene county, N.Y., and his mother of Cherry Valley, Otsego county. His paternal ancestors were from England, and settled in Hartford, Conn., in 1696, while on his mother's side he was descended from Scotch-Irish ancestors. His father was a wool-carder and cloth-dresser, and when he died in 1843 his wife and sons continued the business. Roswell paid his own way at school by working on a farm, in a brick-yard and at odd jobs about the village store. He was graduated at the Theresa high school in 1851, and then taught a country school. In 1853 he became a clerk in a store at Theresa, and then went to Philadelphia, N.Y., where he was a clerk for a short time. The firm failed and he returned to Theresa. He was appointed assistant postmaster of Watertown, N.Y., in 1854, remaining in the office for six years and saving out of a salary of $600 per year the capital with which he purchased a half interest in a jewelry store. In two years he bought out his partner. In 1859 his brother-in-law, Henry Keep, president of the Chicago & Northwestern railroad, then in failing health, entrusted to young Flower the care of his vast property, and he removed to New York city. His management of this trust kept the property together and increased its value. Mr. Flower soon after formed the banking firm of Benedict, Flewer & Co., and afterward admitted two of his brothers as partners. In 1881 he was nominated by the Democratic party, with which he had always acted, representative in congress from the 11th district of New York, his opponent on the Republican ticket being William Waldorf Astor. The election was a special one to fill a vacancy in the 47th congress, caused by the resignation of Levi P. Morton, appointed by President Garfield, U.S. minister to France. He was elected by a majority of 3100 votes, a change of 7100 votes, and he served throughout the 47th congress. He declined renomination in 1882, and was a candidate before the Democratic state convention for governor of the state, receiving on the first ballot 134 votes to 134 for Gen. H. W. Slocum and 61 for Grover Cleveland; who was finally nominated. In 1885 he was nominated as lieutenant-governor, with David B. Hill for governor, but declined to run. He was president of the New York electric subway commission, 1886. In the Democratic national convention of 1888 his name was mentioned as an available presidential nominee and he had a large following, including one-half the delegation from New York state, but the inevitable happened in the renomination of Mr. Cleveland. He was a representative from the 12th district in the 51st congress, 1889-91, where he served on the committee on ways and means and on the committee on the Columbian exposition of 1893. He was re-elected to the 521 congress in 1890, and governor of New York in 1891 by a plurality of 47,937 votes, resigning his seat in congress on the day he was nominated at Saratoga. He served as governor until Jan. 1, 1895. His action in suppressing a panic resulting from the appearance of a few cases of cholera in New York harbor, and in suppressing the rail road riots at Buffalo, N.Y., were noteworthy incidents in his gubernatorial administration. He was elected president of the Columbia trust company, 1895-97, and was honorary vice-president, 1897-99. He was married in 1859 to Sarah M., daughter of Norris M. Woodruff of Watertown. He gave $50,000 in 1881 for the construtting of St. Thomas' home in connection with St. Thomas' church, of which he was a vestryman, a memorial to his son. He also built a hospital for the use of the students of the Homeopathic college, Trinity church, Watertown, N.Y.; and St. James church, Theresa, N.Y., in memory of his mother. He died at Eastport, L.I., N.Y., May 12, 1899.
From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans,
Johnson, Rossiter, editor
A Biography of John Augustus Griswold
John Augustus Griswold, representative, was born in Nassau, N.Y., Nov. 11, 1818. He was an inmate of the family of his uncle, Gen. John Ellis Wool, U.S.A., at Troy, N.Y., after he had reached his majority and was employed in the Rensselaer iron works, of which he afterward became principal owner. He was mayor of Troy in 1850. When the civil war began he was active in organizing the volunteer army and aided in fitting out three regiments of infantry, the "Griswold light cavalry" officially known as the 21st New York cavalry, and the "Black-horse cavalry." Heaided John Ericsson in building the Monitor and became personally responsible with C. S. Bushnell and John F. Winslow in its cost and in seeing that it was built and equipped within the 100 days prescribed by the U.S. government. Had the Monitor proved a failure Mr. Griswold would have been the loser of at least one-third the cost. He was a Democratic representative in the 38th congress, and a Republican representative in the 39th and 40th congresses, serving 1863-69. He was a member of the committee on naval affairs and was largely responsible for the iron-clad monitors constructed during the war. He was the defeated candidate for governor of the state of New York in the election of 1868. He was a liberal benefactor to the various charities supported by the citizens of Troy, and was a trustee of the Rensselaer polytechnic institute, 1860-72. He died in Troy, N.Y., Oct. 31, 1872.
From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans,
Johnson, Rossiter, editor
ADDITIONAL BIOGRAPHIES AVAILABLE:
Ira J. Chase Biography
John Charles Churchill Biographical Sketch
Biographical Sketch of Freeman Clarke
Biography of George Clinton
John Cochrane Biography
Biography of William Bourke Cockran
Cadwallader Colden Biography
The Biography of John Allen Collier
William Jerome Coombs Biography
Biography of Alonzo B. Cornell
Esek Cowen Biography
Thomas Dongan Biography
John M. Farquhar - A Biography
A Biography of Ashbel Parmelee Fitch
David Bennett Hill Biography
A Biography of John Thompson Hoffman
A Biography of Jacob Leisler
Local History and Genealogy Links:
New York Facts:
Tree: sugar maple
Nickname: Empire State
Motto: Excelsior (Ever Upward)
Area (sq. mi.): 49,576
Admitted: 26 Jul 1788